Due to a personal situation, Jennifer is unable to provide a column this week. She expects to be back for her regular turn in two weeks. Until there, here is a flashback column from this week in 2004. Do you remember what was going on in Oakdale?
No. No. No. A thousand times no. After all the Frasiers' stops and starts, I can't believe it ended like that. Katie and Simon just throw in the towel and go their separate ways? Uh-uh. I'm not buying it.
We all know Katie is in no way a saint. She pulled her share of schemes to land Simon. Remember the fake pregnancy and the island adventure? If anyone understands doing desperate, stupid things for love, Katie should. I think that's why I can't quite stomach her taking such a hard line with Simon.
Obviously, Paul Leyden isn't staying, so he had to be written out again, but this ending just seemed out of character for the couple. Adding insult to injury was the final montage of Mike/Katie scenes. We're supposed to believe that although Katie chose Simon over Mike, twice, that she's more heartbroken over Mike?
It's not often ATWT misses the mark. But this time it did. The Frasiers were a supercouple. They deserved a super ending.
In other observations:
--If I had a special award for powerful performances, it would go to Scott Holmes this week. Wow, what a treat it was to watch this talented, and underrated, actor tackle the emotional scenes of Margo's alleged affair. Who knew that sweet docile Tom had such a temper?
--It's official. The world has gone mad when Alison Stewart is the voice of reason. I was stunned when she was trying to talk Chris out of getting married, while he seemed to have lost what few brain cells he had left. Poor Bailey Chase must cringe when he sees how dimwitted Chris is being written. The Chris/Ali story needs a new turn soon, one that doesn't involve a walk down the aisle.
--If ATWT had a drinking game, it wouldn't take long to get toasted if you took a drink every time someone said Starziack.
--It was a tough week for Craig fans, as it was revealed he was behind his daughter's kidnapping. Craig has always been his own worst enemy. But kidnapping Lucy is too crazy, even for him. It's hard to believe he would ever risk her safety, especially after Bryant's death, just so he could play hero. Then again, we all know Craig has gone to extremes in the past. I'm not sure how he'll squirm out of this one, and I can't wait to see him try. I do find it odd that he and Barbara share the same ideas on parenting: When things don't go your way, just kidnap your kids.
--I don't mind product placement every once in a while, but can you say overkill? A couple week's ago Ali awkwardly went on and on about her Physique hair product. And the warehouse where Dusty and Lucy were hiding was stocked full of Mr. Clean, Tide and Bounty. I'm sure advertising dollars are down in daytime, but having characters endorse products is something I could do without.
--What a difference a storyline makes. Lucy Montgomery seems 10 years older in this new tale, which is a good thing considering Dusty is so much older. Lucy and Dusty have chemistry; There's no doubt about it. Honestly, I didn't think I could buy them as a couple, considering the age difference and character histories, but I just can't stop smiling when they're on screen, especially when he calls her baby.
--Thumbs down to whoever created the guest list for the Frasier's going away bash. The most obvious missing guest was Craig. Once again, Craig was absent during a major event in Katie's life. And where were Lily, Holden, Lucinda and John? I think it's fair to say they were close friends of Katie and Simon's, yet they couldn't stop by for a final goodbye?
--Could Nikki Munson be any nastier? If she's supposed to be Oakdale's new bad girl, she's on the right track. I'm hoping Emily knocks that chip off her shoulder soon. And don't get me started on the fact that she's an IRS agent, yet she's chasing down a kidnapper. Only in the world of soaps. On a side note, does the actress remind anyone else of Leslie Kay? I'm not sure if it's her voice, haircut or mannerisms, but these two could be related.
--Now that Katie's gone, I hope that doesn't mean less screen time for my beloved Henry. His growing friendship with Mike could be the start of a storyline for him. Since it seems he's no longer playing nanny for the Snyders, perhaps Mike could enlist his handyman services in his construction company. The two of them in tool belts commiserating over their lost loves would be must-see-TV.
--I can't imagine any other two characters making me enjoy watching them play music on their wine glasses, but Paul and Rosanna had me enthralled. Roger Howarth and Cady McClain are an exciting fit. Add Craig into the mix, and this triangle is just too delicious.
Best Lines of the Week:
(Lily assures Craig that staying at her place doesn't bother Holden.)
Craig: "I know he's grinding his molars extra hard when I walk into a room."
(Henry finds Mike at the bar drinking heavily and tries to help.)
Henry: "Lean on me and try not to heave until we clear the lobby."
Mike: "I saw Katie."
Henry: "In person, or floating above the bar?"
Happy 4th of July Scoopers! See ya next time.